You already know you need to use data to make smart marketing decisions…but what does working with data really look like? Here, our Director of SEO and Digital Analytics gives an overview of the data-driven marketing cycle and how you can use your analytics dashboard to greatest effect.
Step 1: Define the Right Goals
In order to understand if your website, other digital channels, and campaigns are successful, we first need to define what “success” is. This means we have to find a balance between what the institution’s goals are and what the visitors’ goals are. From this discussion we can determine high-level Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). These KPIs determine how we set up analytics, tracking for the campaign, and key integrations (CRM, CMS, etc.). This is essential because KPIs serve as the basis of your dashboards.
Step 2: Measurement
Implementation of tracking to collect data on KPIs will allow us to measure the progression toward your goals. This is done through setting up proper properties, views and filters, employing a varied set of analytic tools, and making sure that tracking is properly layered from a visitor’s first touch to enrollment.
Step 3: Relevant Reporting
By working with you and your institution, we can create detailed yet easy-to-read dashboards that provide relevant data. These will provide a breakdown of the effectiveness of the online ecosystem and return on investment (ROI) for each initiative. The ROI serves as the basis for the data-driven evidence to show how changes to strategy and optimization of different campaigns affect the bottom line. The dashboards also track performance over time.
Step 4: Analyze Performance
From relevant reporting of ROI comes the ability analyze the performance of your campaigns and the ability to make recommendations for improvement. From these recommendations come data-driven decisions. When we connect data-driven decisions with real-time, ongoing analysis, we create a continuous cycle that drives improved tracking, measurement, results, and greater return on investment.
Step 5: Optimize, Optimize, Optimize
Data-driven decisions lead to continuous optimization and improved ROI. Over time this leads to establishment of more mature KPIs and goals, which starts the whole process again. This ongoing improvement and cycling over time allows the institution to predict bumps in the road, be proactive, and make appropriate adjustments for continued success.